Frederick Douglass Rhetoric Analysis Essay

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Whenever injustice exists in society, it becomes the responsibility of others to step forward in defense of the oppressed. If this action does not occur, then the injustice will remain and innocent people will suffer. In order to preserve equality, sometimes people must take a risk in order to reveal the truth and uphold justice. Individuals throughout history, such as the founding fathers, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., have faced this peril in the pursuit of freedom. In 1845, Frederick Douglass published Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, in order to do just that- to establish the truth behind slavery and advocate for freedom. In his narrative, Douglass uses diction, structure, imagery, and other …show more content…
I was seldom free from a sore back” (Douglass, 70). While he neither over or under exaggerates the situation, he seldom tells of his own emotions and disgust regarding his punishments, and he shows his contempt without appearing exceedingly emotional. By keeping a cooler tone, Douglass avoids writing hot with emotion and reestablishes his credibility. Douglass also uses a tone of despair to persuade of injustice. In one passage, he pours out his heart, “O God, save me! God deliver me! ... Why am I a slave?”(Douglass, 74). Through his touching supplication the reader better understands him. His despairing tone displays how slavery truly broke him down and pushed him into misery. Douglass’ use of detail and tone sincerely convinces one of slavery’s evils. In addition to stylistic elements used thus far, Douglass also uses both imagery and syntax to portray the horrors of slavery. To begin with, he uses imagery by personifying slavery: “there stood slavery, a stern reality, glaring frightfully upon us, -its robes already crimsoned with the blood of millions, and even now feasting itself greedily upon our own flesh.”(Douglass, 90) By depicting slavery this way, he gives it power and emphasis, causing slaves to appear powerless beneath slavery’s influence. The mental representation he renders reveals once more the involuntary, villainous enslavement and that